May 7, 2014

To Each Their Own..

    If I had to summarize my belief system in a few short titles or statements it would be Nondenominational Christian, love others, and "to each their own". I mostly came to be this way through the way I was raised and from things I picked up during my college experience where I was exposed to LOTS of belief systems.(These first few sentences will be relevant to my point eventually, hang with me.) 
    When I found out that I was becoming a mom visions of happy mommies, cute baby things, and obviously beautiful babies floated in my mind. What I did not expect was for mother's to be the least supportive and judgmental creatures on the planet. I realize that this is rooted in the fact that we are insecure until we just accept that we are doing the best with what we have and what we know. . I had that epiphany when Madeline was less than a week old. I wasn't even pretending that I knew what I was doing with this beautiful baby girl, but during those first couple days I was sensitive(who isn't!) to every little comment that made me feel inadequate to be her mom. One day after someone's comment caught me off wrong it came to me that I was doing my best and that I just had to be confident in what I thought was best for her and the Lord would take care of us.
     I'm so blessed to be surrounded by so many woman who are supportive, especially in my family and church family who helped me become a more confident woman and momma. Pre-baby I was extremely modest in just about every aspect, but for some reason breastfeeding in public never bothered me. I choose to use a cover for my own comfort(I'm usually freezing so if anything it keeps the chill off) and Madeline doesn't mind it, so that's what we do. 
    I grew up around women who breastfed, so I accepted it as normal.  I didn't know until I got pregnant and got the "Are you going to breastfeed?" questions did I realize that it's no longer the norm. Did the thought of a little human sucking on my chest kinda creep me out? Yes, initially I thought of them as mine and I wasn't sure I wanted to share them, BUT I wasn't going to allow my own modesty and comfort to hold me back from at least try to give Madeline the start that she deserved. (Side note: breastfeeding is single handedly the MOST rewarding thing I've done in my life. I'm not bashing women who don't, it was my choice and it's worked for us beautifully. Feeding her is the time I cherish the most.)
     I know most mom's do, but never once had I thought about going into a bathroom stall to feed her. I don't even like sitting on the toilet seat, why would I think about sitting on it for thirty minutes or more and make my baby eat while we are surrounded by germs and stench.  It wasn't until I experienced people's awkwardness with breastfeeding that I understood why women have went to the bathroom, hot cars, or sat in different rooms. It wasn't until a 30 something male was gawking so obviously at my cover that he ran into a chair and almost flipped a table.  It wasn't until I started finding mommie hate blogs where internet trolls bash every choice there is to make about child rearing. It wasn't until after I had Madeline did I realize that there were people out there who were disturbed by women feeding their babies. 
    Like I said, I use a cover. So if people stare, make comments, or nearly flip tables over what should be a nonevent at me..what have other women experienced? If you are in public and see a mom struggling to cover up don't stare. Even if you've had kids of your own, don't comment unless it's positive. The world makes it hard for us to feel confident in our choices and everyone thinks the ones they've made are best(which is fine as long as you don't belittle others for doing what THEY deem as right). Be the reassurance that mom needs to keep going, don't be her hindrance. You don't have to carry signs to support breastfeeding rights, but support your dining neighbor by not staring and just enjoy your meal. If you have seen women flaunting their bikini clad chest and don't find offense, but find breastfeeding in public offensive... the mother is not the problem..I hate to tell you this...but you are. Stop being selfish, she's not hurting you or your precious little eyes. The world would be a better place if we would all just think "to each their own" and leave each other alone. Without judgement, comment, or grief.

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